Spooky Scary Ikemen | Top 10 Yandere Love Interests | Halloween Special Review

It’s Halloween, and what better way to celebrate than to sit down and snuggle up with some of the scariest men in otome game history? To help you find a unique kind of love on this special day, we’ve put together a list of our Top 10 favourite yanderes

For one day only, we’re ditching our usual ‘sweet’ and ‘spicy’ ratings for something more thematic: ‘spooky’ and ‘scary’. Characters in this list will be judged on how well they fit the Halloween theme (‘spooky’), and how well they fit the yandere archetype (‘scary’).

So, without further ado, let’s dive into our top ten favourite troubled boys. Whether it’s locking you in a cage, being slightly too fond of knives or chains, or simply getting a bit possessive (inevitably due to some sort of past trauma), the men in this list are sure to give you a darker, more disturbing romance that’s perfect for the creepiest day of the year…

#10 – Toma (Amnesia: Memories)

I’m not sure what all the fuss is about, honestly. Toma looks like such a nice boy…

I haven’t actually played Amnesia: Memories (yet), but it would be remiss of me to make a yandere tier list and not include the man responsible for many an otome game player’s ‘yandere-awakening’. For better or worse, Toma was the first ‘cage experience’ for a lot of people, so, for sheer infamy, he gets to be #10 in this list.

Otomate Description: “When the heroine wakes, she finds herself collapsed on an unfamiliar road. She sees Toma beside her as he whispers, “I will protect you.” Toma has been steadily watching the Heroine from a close distance in an older brother-like fashion. His desire to protect and love the heroine are extremely strong, to the point that his mental state sometimes becomes unstable…”

Character Name: Toma
Game Name: Amnesia: Memories
Producer(s): Idea Factory International / Otomate
Available: iOS / Android / Steam
Age Rating: Teen (ESRB)

#9 – Shuu Iwamine (Hatoful Boyfriend)

I’m not sure how Hato Moa managed to find a picture of such an evil-looking bird, and yet there’s no way this partridge has anything other than homicide on its mind…

If you haven’t played Hatoful Boyfriend, you may know it as the funny pigeon-dating game that made its rounds as a meme a few years ago. Do not be fooled. Hatoful Boyfriend isn’t a fluffy, silly game about romancing birds – it’s a devastating horror-mystery riddled with heartbreak and bird puns.

If you want a truly terrifying experience, I recommend Shuu Iwamine, a.k.a the scariest bird I’ve ever met (and I’m Australian, so I’ve been bullied by spring-time magpies before… but I’d still pick that over romancing Shuu again, any day). I’ll never forget his “happy ending”, no matter how hard I try, which is why Shuu absolutely had to be in this list, even if birds aren’t particularly ‘Halloween-y’.

Character Name: Shuu Iwamine
Game Name: Hatoful Boyfriend
Producer(s): Mediatonic / Devolver Digital
Available: Steam
Age Rating: Everyone / 10+ (ESRB)

#8 – Mouri Motonari (Ikemen Sengoku)

Nothing says ‘Halloween’ like a ‘Black-Hearted Pirate’ putting you in chains~

Motonari isn’t the most yandere to ever yandere, but he is fond of chains, and his route has that juicy ‘enemies to lovers’ trope that I absolutely adore. Plus, sometimes people dress up as pirates for Halloween, so I’m going to say he counts. If you’re looking for a naughty pirate to celebrate Halloween with, then choose Mouri Motonari to be kidnapped, put in chains, and yet somehow fall head over heels for him – all at the same time.

“Follow me. We’ll have the time of our lives while the world burns around us.”

– Mouri Motonari (Ikemen Sengoku)

Ikemen Sengoku Description: “A warlord who has a great army of pirates at his beck and call. He’s known by some as the scourge of the seas, the master of strategy and deception. He’ll befriend a comrade and betray them in the same breath. It appears that his mission is to wreak havoc on the world, but why?”

Character Name: Mouri Motonari
Game Name: Ikémen Sengoku: Romances Across Time
Producer(s): CYBIRD / Ikémen Series
Available: Mobile
Age Rating: 17+ (Google Play) / 12+ (Apple Store)

#7 – Isora Amari (7’scarlet)

Whaaat, Isora? A yandere? But he’s too cute to be scary… right?

Isora may not be the scariest or spookiest character on this list, but 7’scarlet itself is a creepy, mystery visual novel with supernatural elements – a perfect game for Halloween! If you’re looking for a story-heavy otome game for the spooky season, then I definitely recommend 7’scarlet. Plus, Isora isn’t only a yandere – he’s also one of the two routes available in your first playthrough, so you don’t have to spend hours just trying to unlock him in the first place.

Be prepared for some horror (especially in the bad endings), along with thrilling suspense, and some surprisingly creepy behaviour from a character who initially comes across as just a cute, energetic, younger guy (albeit a little bit clingy). I highly recommend Isora if you prefer PC otome games and you want to play an intriguing mystery game with an equally intriguing cast…

Note: Isora is voiced by Tetsuya Kakihara, who does a fantastic job of showing all the different sides and tumultuous emotions of this multi-faceted character.

Character Name: Isora Amari
Game Name: 7’scarlet
Producer(s): Toybox Inc / Otomate / Aksys Games
Available: Steam / PS Vita
Age Rating: Teen (ESRB)

#6 – Lucifer (Obey Me)

Wanna fall so hard for Lucifer you decide to just stay in hell with him? You do? Then play Obey Me!

In my search for Halloween-themed characters, I realised very quickly that vampires are abundant in the otome game world. While I love a good vampire (or perhaps even a bad one), I wanted some examples of non-vampire, supernatural ikemen. If you’re looking to romance a non-human yandere this spooky season, then why not a demon? And not just any demon, but Lucifer.

While Lucifer isn’t the most ‘yandere’ character on this list, he’s still possessive, and his character song, ‘Arcadia’, is all about seducing you into a ‘paradise for two’. He also has some… interesting hobbies. The evidence of which, you can see hanging on his bedroom wall. Plus, I can’t think of anything that screams ‘Halloween’ more than hanging out with a demon in actual hell.

Character Name: Lucifer
Game Name: Obey Me! One master to rule them all!
Producer(s): NTT Solmare / Shall We Date?
Available: Mobile
Age Rating: Teen (Google Play) / 12+ (Apple Store)

#5 – Ray / Unknown (Mystic Messenger)

Eyebags are a tell-tale sign that your new favourite love interest might just be a yandere…

Ray has many names, and his route is full of spoilers, so I can’t go into too much detail, but boy is he a troubled one. Some yanderes will just be a bit possessive, some may tie you up, others may put you in cages, and every now and then you get one that actively tries to hurt you. Ray… well, he’s on a whole other level. His route was one of the most messed-up things I’ve ever read, but it was so messy and absurd that it also became one of the best things I’ve ever read.

Due to the intense and disturbing themes, I definitely can’t recommend this route to everyone, and you have to complete several layers of story before you can even unlock him, so he may not be the best choice for someone looking for a fun new Halloween recommendation. However, Ray is hands-down one of the most memorable characters I’ve ever come across in an otome game (which I say affectionately, despite knowing he’s awful), so he’s earned his spot in this yandere hall of fame.

Character Name: Ray / Unknown
Game Name: Mystic Messenger
Producer(s): Cheritz, Ltd.
Available: Mobile
Age Rating: Teen (Google Play) / 17+ (Apple Store)

#4 – Laito Sakamaki (Diabolik Lovers)

I love you Laito but please, please go to therapy… And bring your brothers with you, while you’re at it.

Speaking of messed up and traumatic – here’s Diabolik Lovers. To be honest, any of the love interests from this game could qualify for a spot on this list, and I very nearly chose Kanato – but, in the end, I went with the beautifully melodramatic Laito Sakamaki. This is mostly thanks to his iconic ‘church’ scene (also shown in the anime), which is so creepy it just seems perfect for Halloween.

While Kanato may fit the yandere archetype better (he’s certainly terrifying), I just have a soft spot for Laito that I can’t explain. He’s truly awful (as are most, if not all of the DiaLovers cast), so, as with every other love interest on this list, I recommend doing a bit of research before playing his route.

Diabolik Lovers in particular is known for being full of trauma and morally-dubious scenes, but if you set aside your real-world rules and indulge in the sheer awfulness of everything, it has a unique charm with some jaw-droppingly disturbed characters that I just find fascinating in a macabre kind of way.

Note: Diabolik Lovers hasn’t been officially localised, so you’ll need to play in Japanese with fan translations. There is an anime adaptation with English subtitles, but, well, that’s a review for a different day…

Character Name: Laito Sakamaki
Game Name: Diabolik Lovers (Series)
Producer(s): Rejet / Idea Factory / Otomate
Available: PSP / PS Vita / Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: Depends on the game (but usually at least 15+)

#3 – Loki Genetta (Ikemen Revolution)

Cute catboy? Check. Soft, purring voice? Check. Wants to keep you trapped in his own little world forever? Check.

We had a few particularly scary love interests in a row, so here’s a more palatable yandere for third place. Loki Genetta is a cute-but-clingy catboy inspired by the Cheshire Cat from the original Alice in Wonderland tales. He was the first character I pursued in Ikemen Revolution, and he’s still my favourite in the game. I’m surprised at how few fans he seems to have in the community, so let me plug him here in the hopes that more IkeRev players will join me in my tiny Loki fan club.

Loki is definitely possessive, but he’s never violent or aggressive with the protagonist. Instead, he tends to use his cutesy charm to manipulate people into getting what he wants – and it certainly works on me. Loki knows exactly how and when to bust out the puppy-dog eyes, making you want to spoil him, even when he’s being mischievous. He’s a little bit cheeky and a little bit dangerous, but the reasons for his behaviour become clear as you progress through the story, and you can’t help but sympathise with this poor, lonely catboy.

Note: Ikemen Revolution is currently running a limited-time spooky story sale event, so you can read an actual Halloween story with Loki if you want to get a feel for his character before committing to his entire route.

Character Name: Loki Genetta
Game Name: Ikémen Revolution: Love & Magic in Wonderland
Producer(s): CYBIRD / Ikémen Series
Available: Mobile
Age Rating: 17+ / Mature (Google Play and Apple Store)

#2 – William Shakespeare (Ikemen Vampire)

Normally I prefer treats on Halloween, but I’ll make an exception for this fae trickster~

In a very close second place, we have William Shakespeare, from CYBIRD’s Ikemen Vampire. I’ve previously written a full review of Shakespeare’s route, which goes into much more detail about his character design and story, so I recommend reading that if you want to know more.

Unfortunately, Shakespeare didn’t bring out the chains as much as the story previews implied he would, but he’s still a troubled, possessive type with a complex, nuanced personality that definitely fits the bill for a spooky Halloween experience. Ikemen Vampire itself is a melodramatic romance game set in the Victorian era, so the setting lends itself well to the theme. Then, on top of that, you have a love interest inspired by the famous Elizabethan playwright, whose dialogue sounds like it came straight from one of his plays.

“…I am William Shakespeare, a humble scribbler of plays, humbled more to make your acquaintance.”

– William Shakespeare (Ikemen Vampire)

I adored everything about Shakespeare’s route, from the high-quality localisation, to his fairy-like characterisation, and the many references to the real, historical William Shakespeare and his works. It may just be one of the best routes I’ve read in any otome game, so if you’re not staunchly against playing mobile games, I highly recommend Ikemen Vampire – even just for its sheer quality of writing and its impressive adaptation of real historical figures for a vampiric, otome game context.

Character Name: William Shakespeare
Game Name: Ikémen Vampire: Temptation in the Dark
Producer(s): CYBIRD / Ikémen Series
Available: Mobile
Age Rating: 17+ / Mature (Google Play and Apple Store)

#1 – Kirigakure Saizo (Samurai Love Ballad)

It doesn’t get spookier or scarier than a blood-soaked ninja yandere~ Thank you Saizo for introducing me to the weird and wonderful world of yanderes… and otome games in general! ❤

Kirigakure Saizo was the first otome game character I truly fell in love with, and I still remember his route many years later. He’s beautiful, he’s angsty, and he has a complicated way of expressing his feelings… but deep down he’s a good boy. And, let’s be honest, it doesn’t get spookier or scarier than a bloodstained, broody ninja with some homicidal tendencies.

This archetype of the angst-ridden, misunderstood trickster is still my favourite, and I definitely have Saizo to thank for that. His route contains all of the poetic moon and kitsune (fox) allegories that I love, and the story was just straight-up exciting – with a beautifully dramatic finale, and a plot so creative and original that I haven’t read anything else like it since (and I’ve romanced a lot of angsty, homicidal love interests).

“The only thing I can finish faster than a man’s life is a skewer of dango.”

– Kirigakure Saizo (Samurai Love Ballad)

Perhaps I’ll re-play his route someday and write a proper review, but the fact that his story left such a distinct impression on me is a testament to how much I enjoyed it at the time. If you’re looking for a spooky-scary love interest to romance this Halloween, then my number one recommendation is Kirigakure Saizo, the broody, knife-happy, seductive, tricky-kitsune-ninja, who has a habit of just showing up in the middle of the night covered in (someone else’s) blood.

Character Name: Kirigakure Saizo
Game Name: Samurai Love Ballad
Producer(s): Voltage, Inc.
Available: Android / iOS
Age Rating: PG (Google Play) / 12+ (Apple Store)

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Mary Safro

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